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Murders by Caregiver

People that are responsible for the care of a person of any age that have intentionally caused the death of that person.

One of the questions that these murders raise is related to other forms of "euthanasia" and withholding care.

Withholding care against the wishes of the patient is euthanasia.  Withholding needed medications against the wishes of the patient is euthanasia.  Preventing patients from getting necessary medical care is euthanasia.  Patients with prepaid medical service coverage that have their life sustaining or necessary medical care discontinued because of an administrative order, or corporate cost containment agendas, or for personal employee financial gain such as in the form of bonus are being euthanized.

Law Enforcement and District Attorneys should remember that A CRIME of taking any life is one that should be investigated and prosecuted.  Political purposes should never play a part in the refusal to prosecute these issues.  

Nov. 18, 2009
Dameria Lawhorn, 51, has been charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine.

Caregiver serial killers probably may be responsible for more deaths each year than the transient sexual psychopath serial killers that receive much more public attention. Nevertheless, there has been little serious work profiling this group of murderers.

Update -
News Release
September 08, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Gerber or Evan Westrup, (510) 622-4500

Brown Files Criminal Charges Against Former Nursing Home Administrator in Kern Valley Elder Abuse Case
Bakersfield - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that Kern Valley Hospital administrator Pamela Ott was charged on eight felony counts of elder abuse today for allowing staff to forcibly administer psychotropic medications to patients for their own convenience, rather than for their patients' therapeutic interests. These actions are alleged to have resulted in the deaths of three nursing home residents.

"As hospital administrator, Pamela Ott, was ultimately responsible for safeguarding the welfare of her patients," Brown said. "Instead, Ott abdicated her responsibility and allowed the staff of the Kern Valley Hospital to foricibly sedate patients who questioned their care."

Brown the charges against Ott in Kern County Superior Court. She surrendered herself in court this morning and pled not guilty. She was released on her own recognizance on the condition that she not run a skilled nursing facility. A preliminary hearing is set for November 4, 2009. Today's charges are in addition to those filed in February 2009 against:

- Gwen Hughes, the former Director of Nursing at the skilled nursing facility of the Kern Valley Healthcare District in Lake Isabella, Kern County on charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

- Debbi Hayes, the former pharmacist at the Valley Healthcare District, on charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. On August 14, 2009, Hayes pled no contest to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit an act injurious to public health. She is a cooperating witness for the people.

- Dr. Hoshang Pormir, a staff physician at Kern Valley Healthcare District, who was serving as the medical director of the skilled nursing facility, on charges of elder abuse.

As the Administrator of the Kern Valley Health Care District, Ott hired and supervised Director of Nursing Gwen Hughes.

Upon taking over in September 2006, Hughes ordered that Alzheimer's and other dementia patients be given high doses of psychotropic medications to make them more tranquil and easy to control. She ordered the administration of these medications to patients who argued with her, were noisy, or who were otherwise disruptive. Two patients who resisted were held down and forcibly given injections. Ms. Ott was informed of these actions and allowed them to continue.

Hughes is also alleged to have directed Debbi Hayes, the hospital pharmacist, to fill prescriptions for psychotropic medications. Hayes wrote and filled these prescriptions without first obtaining a doctor's approval.

Dr. Pormir approved these psychotropic medications only some time after they had been administered and without examining the patients first and determining whether these psychotropic medications were medically necessary.

Several of these patients are alleged to have had medical complications as a result of being given these psychotropic medications, including lethargy and the inability to eat or drink properly. It is believed that three patients died and one patient suffered great bodily injury as a result.

The investigation

Kern Valley Healthcare District operates a small community hospital and skilled nursing facility in Lake Isabella. The case came to the attention of authorities in January 2007, when an ombudsman reported to the Bakersfield office of the California Department of Public Health that a patient in the skilled nursing facility had been held down and given an injection of psychotropic medication by force.

The Department of Public Health immediately sent an investigative team with a doctor, a nurse, and a doctor of pharmacology. They determined that 22 patients, including some who were suffering from Alzheimer's at the skilled nursing facility, were being given high doses of psychotropic medication not for therapeutic reasons, but to simply control and quiet them for the convenience of the staff.

The Department of Public Health issued a Certificate of Immediate Jeopardy which resulted in the immediate dismissal of the Ms. Hughes. The matter was then turned over to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.

Special Agents from the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse began a year-long investigation, with the co-operation and assistance of the Department of Public Health and the administration of the Kern Valley Healthcare District.

A search warrant was served on the facility in August 2008, resulting in the seizure of numerous medical files and records.

If convicted, all defendants could face up to 11 years in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, with the co-operation and assistance of the Kern County District Attorney's Office.

To view the news releases issued February 2009 about this case, go to

To report elder abuse or Medi-Cal fraud, call the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse's hotline at (800) 722-0432.

The complaints are attached.
# # #
You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at:

• Gwen Hughes, 55, the former director of nursing.

• Debbi Gayle Hayes, 51, the facility’s former pharmacist.

• Dr. Hoshang M. Pormir, 48, a staff physician at Kern Valley Healthcare District, who was medical director of the skilled nursing facility.

Reports detail fatal druggings at nursing facility

| Wednesday, Feb 18 2009 04:20 PM

Last Updated Friday, Mar 27 2009 01:21 PM

In one allegation, nursing home resident Opal Towery was injected with anti-psychotic drugs after an argument with the nursing director and spent the next week in a zombielike state.

In another, Louise Zimmerman was pinned down by four staffers and injected with the same drugs because she was biting, hitting and kicking others. She never regained full consciousness.

Those were among the disturbing stories in a criminal complaint filed by the California Attorney General’s office that led to the arrests Wednesday of three current and former employees of the Kern Valley Healthcare District’s skilled nursing facility.

The complaint alleges a nursing director, pharmacist and physician drugged at least 22 elderly residents with mood-altering medications to quiet and control them, leading to the deaths of three.

The alleged druggings occurred between August 2006 and January 2007.

“These are powerful medications that were given, in some cases against people’s will, primarily for management, not health reasons,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said. “It's unconscionable behavior and it’s certainly not what people expect when they entrust their parents or grandparents to a skilled nursing home.”

District officials declined to comment but released a statement saying they fully cooperated with the investigation and have taken corrective action. Subsequent inspections have found no significant problems, the statement said.

Arrested were:

• Gwen Hughes, 55, the former director of nursing.

• Debbi Gayle Hayes, 51, the facility’s former pharmacist.

• Dr. Hoshang M. Pormir, 48, a staff physician at Kern Valley Healthcare District, who was medical director of the skilled nursing facility.

Hughes and Hayes face eight felony charges of causing harm or death to an elder or dependent adult and two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon through overmedication.

Pormir faces eight felony charges of causing harm or death to an elder or dependent adult.

They were being held at the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield. Hughes and Hayes were held on $450,000 bail. Pormir was held on $400,000 bail.

If convicted, the three face up to 11 years in prison.

Hughes declined to be interviewed. Hayes and Pormir did not respond to interview requests.


The 27-page complaint describes interviews with facility nurses and medical experts who say Hughes ordered certain patients to receive high and unnecessary doses of anti-psychotic drugs.

Pharmacist Hayes followed her orders, telling investigators she thought Hughes was knowledgeable in the treatment of psychiatric conditions. Pormir, the physician, signed off on the orders after the drugs were administered, according to the interviews.

They say Hughes’ orders often came after residents acted out or complained, and were often administered without patient consent. At least two residents were forcibly injected; a third had psychotropic drugs sprinkled on her food.

The investigation found none of the residents received a medical exam or diagnosis prior to receiving the powerful doses.

Samuel Obair II, a pharmacist who assisted with the investigation, called the situation “beyond appalling,” saying it was “the first time that I have ever run into this severity where it affected so many individuals and was being done so blatantly,” according to the documents.

The situation came to the attention of authorities in January 2007, when an unnamed healthcare ombudsman filed a complaint after seeing Zimmerman held down and forcibly injected with drugs.


The attorney general’s investigation identified three residents believed to have died as a result of being drugged and neglected:

• Fannie May Brinkley died Dec. 23, 2006, after receiving Depakote, a drug to treat mood disorders. After not eating for six days, she was rushed to the emergency room, where she died.

• Eddie Dolenc was given unnecessary anti-psychotic medication that caused him to become extremely sedated, and unable to eat or drink. He died one month after being admitted to the facility, likely from dehydration or pneumonia.

• Joseph Shepter went to the emergency room on Jan. 14, 2007, for dehydration and died five hours later. He had been given three anti-psychotic drugs.

Phyllis Peters, Brinkley’s daughter, has filed a personal injury suit against the facility. Her attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, said Peters noticed her mother was dehydrated and losing weight but was never told by facility staff that her mother was receiving the drugs.

“The family entrusted their mother and grandmother to this hospital — to this nursing facility,” Rodriguez said.


In addition to the three deaths, the drugged residents suffered serious side effects ranging from severe lethargy that inhibited eating and drinking for long periods to weight loss, drooling and incoherence, the complaint said.

People interviewed by investigators pinned most of the blame on nursing director Hughes, who was fired in 1999 from a Fresno nursing home after the state cited the facility for over-medicating patients.

Hughes was dismissed from Kern Valley Healthcare District in January 2007, when the attorney general’s investigation began.

Nurses at the Kern Valley facility said the drugging of patients began when Hughes was hired. She held “interdisciplinary team meetings” in which she and the staff discussed residents' behavior and Hughes told the pharmacist what drugs to prescribe, the nurses told investigators.

When the nurses objected or raised concerns, Hughes threatened to fire them and have their nursing license revoked, they said.

Several nurses left the facility during Hughes’ tenure. One nurse told investigators she was so distraught by the situation that she was on the verge of “a nervous breakdown.”

Steve Muni, a deputy attorney general on the case, said a Kern Valley Healthcare District hospital administrator lost her job over the case.

“We did not press charges against her, feeling that there may be civil or administrative” action, he said.

After her dismissal from the Kern Valley facility, Hughes was hired by Mercy Hospitals as a nurse. Mercy spokeswoman Sandy Doucette said Hughes was employed from February 2007 to April 23, 2007.

She has a clear nursing record and no actions against her, according to the state consumer affairs Web site for registered nurses.

— Californian columnist Lois Henry contributed to this report.

Healers in title only that Kill  - A disturbing number of serial killers are found in the medical profession, making victims of the very patients who entrust the twisted healers with their lives. The reasons for their choice of a career in medicine (and murder) are admittedly complex, but one advantage is the ready-made supply of victims - often weak and helpless, sometimes even comatose - who are presented daily to the medical professional.

Medical experts never testified in Katrina hospital deaths

  • Five experts conclude that as many as nine patients were homicide victims
  • District attorney says it's "inappropriate" to discuss secret grand jury proceedings
  • Doctor tells magazine she gave patients drugs, but not with intent to kill them
  • Son of one patient says he refused settlement offer because he wants the truth
(CNN) -- A New Orleans grand jury that declined to indict a doctor on charges that she murdered patients in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina never heard testimony from five medical experts brought in by the state to analyze the deaths.

All five concluded that as many as nine patients were victims of homicide.
mirrored for historical purposes at


Swiss Nurse Is Sentenced for 22 Murders - January 29,2005
36-year-old Roger Andermatt, a Swiss nurse has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering 22 nursing home patients over a six-year period.


Court TV's Library of Male Nurses that Kill and a section on Female Nurses that Kill

Nurse 'tried to kill patients' - April 28, 2004
Barbara Salisbury worked as a ward sister. 
A hospital nurse accused of attempting to murder four elderly patients was motivated by a drive to free up beds, a court has heard. 
Family Crusade Brings Exhumation in Case of Suspect Nurse (Charles Cullen Victim)
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA Published: January 22, 2004

Nurse Charged After Patient Deaths Claim  December 2003
Charles Cullen, 43, told authorities he administered drug overdoses to put "very sick" patients out of their misery over the last 16 years in nine hospitals and a nursing home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Doctor charged over '95 mercy killing 
potassium choride murder case
further information at:

Greed called motive for woman's death in San Jose

Officials to exhume body in investigation of nurse Peggy S. Couse, employee of Twin City Healthcare.

Dr. Asuncion M. Luyao, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, with two additional counts of manslaughter arising out of the overdose deaths of her patients.

Christine Malèvre RN jailed in six patient deaths

Nurse, Ted Maher, convicted murderer of billionaire banker Edmond Safra

Here is the other side of the Safra Murder case citing the innocence of Ted Maher.

Man pleads guilty in killing of Canyon Lake woman - Beverly Manor Story

New twist in Iowa nursing home death

Christine Lee Ann Helen Van Oort, 26, of Rock Valley had willfully, deliberately and with premeditation killed retired Rock Valley farmer Dick Post April 16 at the Valley Manor Nursing home, according to a court document filed late Thursday by Sioux County Attorney Melissa O'Rourke. 
2 doctors accused of murder by poor treatment face trial

John Walter Bardgett  - John Walter Bardgett boasting in a recorded telephone conversation that he knew better than the doctors how to ease patients’ last days.

Nurses tied to Insurance Murder  - Three nurses accused of insurance murder also attempted to kill and rob the mother of their friend two years ago by injecting her with insulin, police said

Ex-nursing home operator, official are convicted in elderly abuse case  - Charles B. Kaiser III, get the maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and one year in the county jail

Update of Charles B. Kaiser III and Nurse's aide Karl Willard  convicted of Elder Abuse

Nurse accused of killing 13 patients insists she's innocent as trial ends

July 18, 2002 - Nurses in Missouri and Texas Charged With Killing Patients

Friday, June 14, 2002 - Imprisoned ManorCare nurse sued in civil court

Charges were filed against Daillyn Pavia, 30, of Granite City, Ill., in the death of Julia Dawson

The Shipman Inquiry - An Independent Public Inquiry Into the Issues Arising from the case of Harold Frederick Shipman

Mom accused of killing sons at nursing home - 2002

Richard Williams - VA Nurse Killer

Caregiver charged with murder of elderly woman
MARIETTA -- An 83-year-old woman was beaten to death by a caregiver at her assisted-living home after wetting the bed 
and keeping the staff up at night, police said. 

Fairbanks police: Caregiver kept murder victim in slum-like home
FAIRBANKS - Weeks before his death David Haynes was living in slum-like conditions without running water while his 
unlicensed care givers had full access to his bank account, according to Fairbanks Police. 
Caregiver or killer?
NORTHAMPTON - Her patients were weakened soldiers who had marched against Hitler, battled Tojo in the South Pacific, 
or risked the terror of bamboo prisons along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Caregiver says woman died of natural causes

CARSON CITY -- A Carson City caregiver accused of killing a 79-year-old woman in a bizarre slaying case says she was afraid to  notify authorities that the victim had died of natural causes. 
Elderly man who shot ailing wife under house arrest

Son confesses to his mom's mercy killing
The confession of a caregiver that he killed his terminally ill mother last February has Kitsap County officials scrambling to investigate. 

Jane Toppan who confessed to killing 31 and is believed by some experts to have killed 70 to 100 people 
as a student nurse, and nurse's aide around the turn of the century is quoted as saying, "That is my ambition, to have killed 
more people,more helpless peopleQthan any man or woman who has ever lived."

Elder Abuse - The Ultimate Crime

Caregiver sentenced to 6 years in prison
Susan Foster, convicted of neglecting an elderly woman so badly that the woman died

Nurse that killed for money  and self named "Angels of Death"
Killing for money is a mundane motive, but it makes more sense than those nurses who promise to nurture and heal, and then kill for excitement. 

Medical staff 'kill' patients for a fee from undertakers
The Polish authorities have ordered an investigation into accusations that medical staff may have killed patients to collect bribes from undertakers desperate for business.

Citations, small fines imposed after state investigations
Dangerous Care: Nurses' Hidden Role in Medical Error or is it really error?
When bed rails kill, families go untold


Nurses' Participation in the Nazi Euthanasia Programs

Synopsis of the various types of caregivers that murder their patients and their reasons.
Medical Serial Killers
Title: Murder Resources 
Description: murder related news, books and web resources